Are Your Emergency Warning Lights Working For You?

Issue 4 and Volume 139.

Are Your Emergency Warning Lights Working For You? FEATURES EQUIPMENT The most important warning device on an emergency vehicle is its lighting system. That’s not by choice of the fire service, but rather due to the conditions of modern society. Today’s passenger vehicles are soundproofed to deaden outside noises, including sirens. Whatever residual sound does penetrate these cars is overshadowed by stereos, which are designed for the specific purpose of insulating the vehicle occupant from the irritation of traffic noise. Only the most powerful siren can now compete against the heavy insulation that is routinely installed in today’s cars. In the interest of public safety, the fire service has tried increasing the decibel output of sirens to penetrate car interiors. Ironically, this has created a safety hazard to emergency personnel. Continuous exposure to high-decibel sirens can result in hearing damage. Sirens produce more than the 85 decibel (db) level, which…

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